Home   News   Article

Lincolnshire County Council foils £1.5 million scam

A vigilant employee prevented a major fraud against the county council when scammers tried to falsely change the bank account details of a contractor.

Lincolnshire County Council's IT security blocks most spam and malicious emails, but a more sophisticated email scam had reached finance staff, informing them a supplier had changed their bank account information.

Lucy Pledge, audit and risk manager at the council, said: "The correspondence to the council looked entirely genuine and identical to official letters from this supplier. Because the staff member took the time to double check using an independent phone number - not the one in the letter - they quickly discovered this was fraudulent. The next payment due to be made to this supplier was £1.5m."

Lincolnshire County Council (12303404)
Lincolnshire County Council (12303404)

The council's IT systems blocked 7,993 malicious emails during May alone, on top of 276,241 emails deemed to be spam.

Cllr Alex Maughan, the council's fraud champion, said: "Bank mandate fraud is just one type of scam that the council is targeted with every day. We take all fraud seriously and our staff receive specific training to pick up on anything that may not be genuine. We are not an easy target and continue to make every effort to protect public money."

The council takes a multi-layered approach to preventing digital scams and doesn't just rely on one set of safeguards. By using technology such as email security, fraud and security policies and staff training and awareness, the risk of fraud taking place is reduced.

The incident was reported to Action Fraud.

You can find more information about fraud against councils in Lincolnshire on Lincolnshire County Council's website. Fraud against councils can also be reported through the confidential hotline on 0800 0853716 or e-mail whistleblowing@lincolnshire.gov.uk


Iliffe Media does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.


Terms of Comments

We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.

If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More